With my sister and my sweet nephew Teo visiting from across the country this week, I wanted to make a special breakfast for them. And this lovely Cardamom Custard Puffed Apple Pancake really fit the occasion. I've made puffed pancakes before, and they are perfect for a family breakfast. It all gets baked up in one dish, so you're not stuck flipping pancakes at the stove. It was so nice to simply whisk it up and pop it in the oven, and then when it was done, getting to sit down to breakfast with the rest of the crowd.
Nothing is so exciting for a three-year-old boy as seeing explosions, so I had a lot of fun with Teo peeking through the oven window as our pancake puffed and swelled like a souffle during baking. He got such a kick out of watching it grow! And he was even more excited when it came time to eat it. He must've been the biggest eater at the breakfast table this morning, eating two servings and mooching off his mama's plate too!
Thin slices of Golden Delicious apples are first slightly caramelized in the baking dish, and then the batter is poured over and baked until it rises into a glorious puff (sadly the pancake deflates once you take it out of the oven...ah well). I love how the edges of the pancake get nice and crusty while at the center of the pan it stays soft and custardy. And the scent of vanilla and cardamom is heavenly! My conclusion? This is a no-fuss breakfast that's great for everyone in the family: fancy enough to get oohs and ahs from my mother, satisfying enough for my father, and tasty enough to be devoured by my nephew. It's low in fat, low in sugar (don't want the little guy crashing off of a sugar high!), a good source of protein, and it has fruit in it too. My family fueled up on this and then headed out for a leisurely morning walk along the beach. It was fantastic being together, watching Teo's antics and letting our own inner kids come out, having some family fun in the brisk January sunshine.
Cardamom Custard Puffed Apple Pancake
Makes 4-5 Servings
2 Tbs. salted butter
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
4 large eggs
3 Tbs. sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place butter in a 9 x 13 - inch baking dish and place dish in oven until hot and butter has melted. Fan apple slices over the surface of the melted butter and return to oven for 10 minutes, until apples are softened and the edges of the dish are beginning to brown.
In a deep bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar, then whisk in milk, vanilla, salt, and cardamom. Fold in flour and then blend with an immersion stick blender until completely smooth. (Alternatively, mix all ingredients in a blender.)